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Bert Olivier

Breaking down South Africa?

In 2015, it was reported that Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, speaking to followers at Nongoma, criticised black South Africans for not building further on the country they had inherited from the National Party, opting instead to destroy or break down infrastructure, in this way cancelling out the (economic) progress made during a time when the…

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Avishkar Govender

Ag sies man! They took toilet money!

In India, the caste system controls everything, even with the modernisation that has made parts of the caste system illegal. It regulates occupation, vocation, profession and education by determining who gets what opportunity. It determines association, such that the freedom of association is limited insofar as not enabling cross-caste association. In India it is the…

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Bert Olivier

Sleepwalking into a geophysical storm?

In a recent article titled ‘The perils of short-termism: Civilisation’s greatest threat’, by Richard Fisher, he makes the following sober (and sobering) remark about the people — our children and grandchildren — who are likely to be alive when the iconic year, 2100, dawns: All the decisions we make, for better and worse, will be…

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Bert Olivier

‘Dark technology’ and human ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’?

In the later 19th century there was a protracted debate among thinkers of various stripes about the question, what ultimately determines human actions — ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’ — a debate that is still going on today. But while it was then influenced by the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, on the one hand, and empiricist…

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Mandela Rhodes Scholars

What parents can do to make up for gaps in our basic education?

By Lehlohonolo Mofokeng Here is a reality many of us do not want to talk about: our basic education encourages surface learning than deep learning. One of the reasons I encourage my learners to enter for Accounting Olympiads is to show them that our content is weak; by consequence, disadvantages them when they enrol at…

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Psychological Society of South Africa

‘Ubuhle bendoda, izinkomozakhe’ and the trouble with paying lobolo

By Refiloe Makama “Men are never ugly”. Nnu Ego makes this statement in Buchi Emecheta’s novel, The Joys of Motherhood, set during the colonial period in Nigeria. In a scene between two friends, the protagonist Nnu Ego had recently lost her first child, and Ato, her childhood friend comes to comfort her. In a memorable moment,…

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Bert Olivier

People are not as free as they think they are

Some (older) people may recall the 1983 Warner Brothers mockumentary, Zelig, written by, and starring Woody Allen, together with Mia Farrow as the psychiatrist who treats him for his strange disorder. Lately I have been thinking a lot about this classic portrayal of conformism on the part of a man who manifested his adaptation to…

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Featured Multimedia

In conversation with African Transformation Leader

ATM leader Vuyolwethu Zungula speaks to the Mail & Guardian about the party, Mzwanele Manyi and former President Jacob Zuma.

Could HIV treatment become as simple as a once-a-month injection?

If you're newly diagnosed with HIV the future of your treatment looks bright.